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Steven Adler Answers Every Imaginable Question About His Role in the Guns N’ Roses Reunion

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Except for a few special guest appearances, Steven Adler has been kept on the sidelines for Guns N’ Roses’ “Not in this Lifetime” tour. In a new interview, he goes into greater detail than before about how he was supposed to play a larger role, and where things went wrong.

Appearing on One on One With Mitch Lafon (embedded above), Adler said that the original idea was for he and Frank Ferrer to split drum duties, with Adler playing on the Appetite for Destruction and Lies songs, with a few from Use Your Illusion, and Ferrer would play the rest. “I was gonna start it,” Adler said, “he was gonna come in the middle, and I was gonna end it. And I was cool with that.”

Unfortunately, during the rehearsals for the warm-up show at the Troubadour in Los Angeles — which was originally booked as an Adler solo gig — he picked up an injury to his back that required minor surgery and put him out of action for two weeks, causing the band to jettison the idea of using two drummers. “Duff [McKagan] called me and said, ‘Dude, you’re not gonna play with us anymore. You’re not gonna do these shows,’ he continued. “And I was, like, ‘You’re the worst f—ing person in the world.’ And I hung up on him. And I tried to call him back and left a message, saying, ‘I’m so sorry I said that.’ … I was feeling that about me, and I said it about him, and I couldn’t apologize to him enough, because he knows I love him more than anything. And I got to apologize, ’cause, obviously, I’d seen him last year and we did shows together. And he understood.”

Adler wound up sitting in with them for a few songs in Cincinnati, Los Angeles and Argentina — where his wife is from — and says that playing with them gave him closure. However, he’s still holding out hope that a full reunion of the original lineup, including Izzy Stradlin, will happen. “I asked Slash if he would talk to Axl [Rose] about that, like, in July it’ll be 30 years that Appetite came out. So I was thinking why don’t we just do four or five shows and play all of Appetite from beginning to end, throw [in], like, ‘Civil War’, and maybe something off of… like ‘Patience’… and record it, videotape it. And that’s it, if that’s all you wanna do. And if Axl’s happy after that, then we could do more. But I thought that would be really cool. But that’s my idea. If it was up to me, it would be a different story. But it is what it is.”

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